Consumer spending over the last quarter fell by the largest amount in 28 years. During that same time the gross domestic product fell by 0.3 percent, indicating that the country is in a recession. Six governors have asked the Federal Reserve to bailout automakers. Yet Exxon broke its own earnings record, hauling in more quarterly profits than any U.S. company in history—a whopping $14.83 billion—because (“Hold onto your gas tank, kids!”) oil prices were at record highs. That’s right, in the oil business high prices don’t squeeze profits, they squeeze the consumer.
Archive for October 2008
The Vatican has announced plans to give psychological tests to candidates for the priesthood in order to screen out heterosexuals who can’t control their sexual urges and those who have strong homosexual tendencies. The tests won’t be obligatory but will be used when seminary rectors “want to be sure a man was qualified for the priesthood.” In conjunction with this, rectors will undergo advanced Gaydar training so they become more sensitive to candidates’ winks, those who use a wide stance in the confessional, and anyone who “accidentally” says semen rectum when referring to the seminary rector.
A woman crossing the U.S.-Mexico border in Hidalgo showed inspectors the soiled baby diapers she had with her. When the brave inspectors examined them they didn’t find what they expected, but rather found chorizo links that the woman was smuggling into the U.S. She was fined $300, her chorizo was seized, and the leaders of the Mexican drug cartels all breathed a sigh of relief that they hadn’t hired her as a mule.
According to a cardiologist at the University of Michigan, hunters have more to fear than charging animals, falling out of a tree stand, running into PETA activists, or having Dick Cheney as a hunting partner. He says the greatest danger is a heart attack. He recommends that you get a pre-season check-up, follow a cardio training regimen, not hunt alone, carry a cell phone, and preferably stay home and watch Bambi while eating tofu hot dogs.
There are only seven days left to sign up for the Marriage for a Lifetime contest. All you have to do is be an engaged couple and agree to abstain from premarital sex until your wedding night. Prizes include $10,000 as well as flowers and invitations for the wedding. So far there have been no takers. Apparently indecent proposals are more popular than decent ones.
By daylight, it’s your basic orange tabby. By night it’s a walking, mewing, fluorescent green nightlight. Yes, scientists at the Audubon Nature Institute in New Orleans cloned a cat and, while they were at it, gave the cat a gene that produces a protein that makes it glow in the dark. It’s a lot of work to make Halloween at the lab unforgettable, especially since all they really needed to do was put it in a French elevator for a while (see: Fifth Floor—Geiger Counters, Lead Vests, X-Rays).
The Otis elevator company says it’s going to replace the buttons from as many as 500 elevators in France because they may be contaminated with radioactive cobalt-60. On the positive side, the buttons were easy to find in the dark and didn’t contain melamine.
When the alumni association of Framingham State College sent out a fundraising letter, blah blah blah, they decided to gear it towards the younger, recent graduates who hadn’t donated before. Blah blah blah. So in an attempt to be hip and cute—as if just being an alumni association isn’t hip and cute enough—they used the word “blah” 137 times in the letter. Such as the one part that read: “With the recent economic downturn and loan crisis, it has become even more important for Framingham State College to receive your support. Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.” Graduates complained, saying it insulted their intelligence, and the school’s vice president of college advancement sent a follow-up letter apologizing. Maybe they should have started it with: “u kewl grads r gr8! got $?”
Twenty-one clowns have banded together to put out the 2009 Naked Clown Calendar to benefit Multiple Sclerosis research. Yes, we know there are only 12 months in a year, but if you can get 15 clowns inside a small car it’s no problem fitting 21 clowns on 12 pages. Don’t get too excited, Halle Berry, Scarlett Johansson, and Jenna Jamison aren’t clowns.
Doctors at the University of Illinois College of Medicine at Peoria found that listening to or singing the BeeGees’ Stayin’ Alive while giving CPR helps people perform chest compressions at the proper speed, since the ideal rate should be 100 per minute and the song is 103 beats per minute. Before discovering this ideal song they tried and rejected Oingo Boingo’s Dead Man’s Party, Roberta Flack’s Killing Me Softly, and anything by the Grateful Dead.
Last year Nebraska State Senator Ernie Chambers filed a lawsuit against God, claiming he/she/it made threats against his constituents, inspiring fear and causing “widespread death, destruction and terrorization of millions upon millions of the Earth’s inhabitants.” Yesterday Douglas County District Court Judge Marlon Polk threw out the suit because God wasn’t properly served due to having an unlisted home address. If you can get a letter to Santa Claus addressed to the North Pole, why can’t you get one to God at: Pearly Gates, Heaven?
Madonna and Guy Ritchie have announced that, yes, they’re getting divorced. In the settlement, Madonna gets to keep her sinewy muscles and English accent, Ritchie will keep what little is left of his sanity and self-respect, and neither wants anything to do with Swept Away.
A study in the American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry says searching the Internet is good for your brain, exercising and improving mental functions. Meanwhile, a study published in the Archives of Neurology found that drinking alcohol shrinks the brain, more so in women than men. So remember, if you have to drink, surf the ‘net. At least you’ll come out even.
An official of the Vatican bank—officially known by the non sequitur name Institute for the Works of Religion—says its deposits are safe from the current global financial meltdown, which is welcome news to its customers, which include dioceses, Roman Catholic charities, other religious organizations, and the Vatican itself. The money’s safe because the bank doesn’t invest in derivatives, invests almost entirely in low-yield government bonds, doesn’t make loans, and has God sitting on the Board of Directors.
The National Debt Clock high above Times Square is running out of spaces. In September they got rid of the digital dollar sign so it could show the “1” in $10 trillion, but since the national debt has been growing more than $500 billion each year since 2003, they’re playing it safe and creating a new clock that can handle a quadrillion dollars of debt. Much like the average consumer. To paraphrase the late Senator Everett Dirksen, “A billion here, a billion there, and pretty soon you’re talking about getting a new country credit card.”
The other morning the front page of the Israeli newspaper Haaretz quoted Bernard Kouchner, France’s foreign minister, as saying Israel might “eat” the country’s arch enemy, Iran, before it got nuclear arms. The next day the newspaper ran a correction because it turned out Kouchner, speaking in English, had dropped his “h” and actually said Israel might “hit” Iran. Kouchner apologized for the “phonetic confusion,” and promised to start working with “Ooked on Phonics.”
Charlotte Feeney of Stratford, Connecticut, sued L’Oreal, saying a box of blonde hair coloring she used dyed her hair brunette by mistake, leaving her so traumatized by the lack of attention she used to get as a blonde that she stayed home and wore hats most of the time, suffered headaches and anxiety, and wound up needing anti-depressants. The judge dismissed the suit, proving that gentleman don’t necessarily prefer blondes, but do like mental stability.
A study done in Vienna, Austria, found that people not only see faces and human characteristics in cars, they prefer them to appear dominant, masculine, and angry. This has prompted announcements of several new car models, including the Pontiac Temper, Toyota Hothead, and Ford A-Hole.
If you’re in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, don’t even think about taking your dog for a walk hoping it will attract women. It’s now illegal. In order to make sure men and women don’t get co-mingle, Saudi Arabia’s Islamic religious police have banned selling dogs and cats in Riyadh, and made it a crime to walk them in public. If you’re caught, agents of the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice will take the pet and make you sign a statement promising not to do it again. You don’t want to know what happens to those who don’t heed the warning. Best stick to www.riyadh-singles.org from now on.
A Russian chef has put out what may be the first cookbook of its kind—all testicles, all the time. The recipes in Cooking with Balls use ostrich, bull, pig, turkey, and horse gonads to make such mouth-watering dishes as testicle pizza, battered testicles, and barbecued testicles with giblets. Hey, it’s never too soon to start putting your Thanksgiving menu together.